London’s Offer Waterman Gallery is presenting an exhibition of recent works by British artist Diarmuid Kelley this month at Stellan Holm on Madison Avenue in New York. On view until November 30, the show—Kelley’s first solo show outside of London—features over 20 of his signature still lifes and large-scale portraits.
“In my recent works, I’ve been experimenting with different color combinations, which I’m excited to debut in New York,” said Kelley. “Central to my work is that I make images that are incomplete—fragments of an interior, ones that may include a sitter, or a figure, but only as part of an overall scheme; a collage of different patterns, textures and colors.”
Visitors at the gallery can expect to find a series of breathtaking oil paintings, depicting both human figures and objects like fruit, chairs, draped fabric, and utensils. Of note are works like a portrait of a sleeping man entitled Edith Piaf (said it better than me), and smaller still life scenes like Red Onions and Seville Oranges. Capturing the subjects in his singular style, Kelley focuses on color, light, and texture, often trailing off toward the outer edges of the composition, leaving them with an unfinished quality.
To make these highly detailed pieces, the artist first orchestrates his own mise-en-scene inside a custom-built box in his studio. Placing together humble collections of everyday objects—and often people—the artist then transforms the scenes into dramatic, captivating images that reference the practices and works of Renaissance masters.